Thursday, August 2, 2007

Phantom : The Legendary Saviour [Part-I]

Among many Phantom illustrators, the name created most sensation is Barry,Sy Barry who illustrated this Legendary comic-hero from 1962 to 1994 & helped this strip to reach a remarkable height.

In other word,during more-than-70-year run, Phantom comics reached in the maximum popularity OR better say get the modern-n-real-life look in Barry's era...though Lee Falk is creator of this 'ghost who walks' all credits behind his modern look goes to Sy Barry .

Before him,McCoy and Moore did the illustration jobs and frankly those were far away from the reality look,not only Phantom but all other characters illustrations were like more caricature-thing and hence not much popular.Also the script were less thrilling and patter of the stories also little monotonous (same kidnapping stories of Diana or some lost people in jungle etc. & almost all thugs looked alike! ).

After Sy Barry take the illustrator job,he gave Phantom a new and real-life-hero look (that even becomes more attractive from '70s strips). Falk was very happy with this development and instantly went for a make-over.
[here's some strips illustrated by Moore and Barry; while 1st one by Moore in '50s era, next two by Barry in '71 and '80 respectively.... it's just shows the excellence of great Barry]

I doubt if Barry wouldn't step-in then as an illustrator, Phantom may be not exist for such a long time.It's in Barry's era when Col.Worobu ,President Luaga ,black-king Junakar and miss Tagama appeared,also with some other integral characters about which i'll discuss in later part . Also after some year, Morris-town became Mawitaan and Bangala to Denkali.Also it's the first time when Devil - Phantom's deadly wolf looks like a real-wolf-than-dog as it was in earlier strips.

All who read early (i.e. before Barry) phantoms saw Diana and all other female characters as blondes.It is learned that,Falk was quite fade-up with this monotonous look (incld. Phantom's look as well) and after some discussions with the then new illustrator Barry and the king Features Syndicate's officials, they decide to give a complete make-over to every characters and most effectively to these ladies.As a result,without any notice at all , including Diana,almost all female characters became brunette from blonde! quite a make-over ,hah!
[Though in some strips blonde characters appeared,but that were less frequent and they too were look much prettier than earlier!]

Jokes a apart, it's really stupendously increased the 'glamour quotient' in this comic-strips.Personally i'm agree with this fact.... actually Diana turns not only more glamorous after this, also she becomes less of a damsel-in-distress (previously most of her stories were revolved as she was kidnapped by thugs and phantom rescued her all the time!) and gets more meaty roles in the later strips.
Also other characters got a make-over with introduction of some NEW and exciting characters..e.g. REX - 'Phantom's foster son'.

But that'll be in next part with lot more other discussions on the Ghost Who Walks...

1 comment:

Comic Guy said...

Well penned article over would be more interesting if more light would be thrown over Moore and MCcoy work.hope it would be coming in 2nd part